Caitlin Fitzsimmons Online editor

Caitlin covers social media, marketing and technology and is BRW's social media editor. She has worked as a journalist in Sydney, London and San Francisco, writing for titles including The Guardian and The Australian Financial Review.

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Kickstarter cranks up competition with Pozible with Australia and New Zealand launch

Published 15 October 2013 10:42, Updated 17 October 2013 08:32

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Kickstarter cranks up competition with Pozible with Australia and New Zealand launch

Emotive co-founder Tan Le tapped crowdfunding sources for $16.4 million for her neuro-headset project.

Kickstarter, one of the world’s most popular crowdfunding platforms, has launched in Australia and New Zealand.

The company, which flagged plans for an Australian launch back in August, has now updated its site to welcome local creators.

“Creators in Australia and New Zealand can start building projects now! (You’ll be able to launch your project starting November 13),” its site says.

Kickstarter staff will be visiting Australia to hold “Kickstarter Schools” for creative projects and ventures to pitch ideas or learn more about how crowdfunding and the platform works.

So far, events are scheduled for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in late October and early November.

Crowdfunding platforms allow people to pitch for donations from the general public to fund a project, such as a short film, and to offer “rewards” as incentives.

Increasingly it is used by entrepreneurs to do market testing and pre-sell products, such as the recent project by San Francisco-based Australian entrepreneur Tan Le that raised $US1.64 million to commercialise a neuro-headset.

The US is also exploring allowing entrepreneurs to use crowdfunding to attract equity investors in early-stage start-ups but this is not allowed in Australia yet.

Kickstarter will compete directly with Australian-based global crowdfunding site Pozible.

Australian creators, such as Melbourne-based yarn specialist Kylie Gusset, have successfully used Pozible to raise money in the past.

Others, such as Melbourne-based Annex Products, which makes iPhone accessories, went to the trouble of getting a US bank account to access Kickstarter.

Pozible recently announced the ability for project-creators to turn their page into a shop and continue selling products or offering rewards after their project was funded.

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